For you and the people in your life, coping with hearing loss can take some work to adjust to. In some cases, it can even be hazardous.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a fire alarm or somebody calling your name? Car sounds can indicate dangers ahead, but if you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t hear them.
Don’t stress yourself out over the “what ifs”. The first thing that someone with neglected hearing loss should do is get a hearing assessment. Here are a few recommendations to help keep people with hearing aids and their families safer whether or not they’re using their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out alone
If you can, take someone with you who isn’t struggling to hear. If you need to go out alone, request that people come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Stay focused when you drive
It’s important to remain focused when you’re driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Pull over if you need to plot a route and avoid your phone and GPS. Before you drive, if you are worried that you might have an issue with your hearing, call us for an assessment.
If there are times while you’re driving that you may need to have your passengers quiet down or turn off the radio, there’s no shame. Safety first!
3. Consider a service dog
For people who have loss of vision, epilepsy, or other problems, a service dog seems obvious. But they can also be really helpful to individuals who have auditory problems. You can be warned about danger by a service dog. When someone is at your door they can inform you.
They can assist you with your hearing issues and they are also excellent companions.
4. Have a plan
Identify what you’ll do before an emergency happens. Talk it over it with others. If you plan to go into the basement during a tornado, make sure your family knows where they’ll find you. In case of a fire, choose a delegated spot that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where you will be if something were to go wrong.
5. Adjust yourself to visual cues when driving
Your hearing loss has most likely worsened over time. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly fine-tuned, you might find yourself depending more on your eyes. You might not hear sirens so look out for flashing lights. When children or pedestrians are around, be extra vigilant.
6. Let family and friends know about your limitations
It may be difficult to admit, but it’s essential that people in your life are aware of your hearing issues. You might need to get to safety and people around you will be able to make you aware of something you might have missed. If they don’t know that you can’t hear, they will assume that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
As someone living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you drive. These can indicate a serious problem. If neglected, they can do long-term damage to your car or put you in danger. It’s a good idea to ask a trusted mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you bring it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Have your hearing impairment treated
This is the most imperative thing you can do to stay safe. Get your hearing checked yearly to determine when your hearing loss is severe enough to require an assistive device. Don’t hesitate because of time constraints, money, or pride. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and surprisingly affordable. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in many settings at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.